Morning snow fluff turns to chilly afternoon rain, small birds flutter between tree branches and hop under bushes. Underneath that cold dampness of the last bits of winter frost, the earth is singing a new song, notes of lightness and dew and young energy trill out - spring approaches! I am always excited for springtime in Portland, when the cherry blossoms overtake the west-bank waterfront, the tight bundles of rosebuds hinting at the summer bloom, and the scent of daphne is wafting through the air.
Spring carries the energy of transformation, the energy of newness. Springtime encourages us to clear out the old and make preparations for what we want to be harvesting in the coming autumn. Spring is looking forward. Spring says to us “Time to shake off that last bit of winter frost, clear the clutter of decayed foliage, and make way for new sprouts to emerge!”
Portlanders are avid gardeners, many of us will take to the dirt to pull the damp dead weeds, till the soil, and clear the way for new seeds to be planted. Taking a page from mother nature, spring is also a time where we can cleanse our personal worlds - both externally and internally. Many people are familiar with “spring cleaning” and with the gaining ppularity of Marie Kondo and the minimalist movement, and with or without the help of one of these frameworks it can be a great excuse to clear the clutter from our closets and make some donations to local shelters.
More importantly, spring is a great time to cleanse, nourish, and give a little extra attention to our physical body. In many ancient forms of medicine including Ayurveda and TCM, a cleanse is more of a “reset” button for the system, specifically the digestive system, meant to heal and nourish as opposed to scrub clean. While in the warm summer months I am all for the smoothie and raw or juice cleanses, for the cool damp pacific northwest springtime I am a fan of a more warming, nourishing reset such as a kitchari cleanse. Kitchari is a traditional Ayurvedic dish of mung beans or lentils and rice, cooked in a single pot with a little ghee (clarified butter) and spices that support digestion. There are numerous articles and recipes online, I have found the one written by Banyan Botanicals to be both descriptive and delicious!
As you cleanse, taking regular saunas and receiving both acupuncture and regular bodywork can help to support and further detox your body. Chi Nei Tsang massage is a gentle and effective modality for supporting your body before, during, and after a cleanse. Chi Nei Tsang is a form of abdominal and organ massage with roots in both Chinese and Thai medicine as well as Taoist healing practices. CNT was first practiced over a thousand years ago by Taoist monks to help detoxify, strengthen and refine their bodies in order to maintain the energy needed for their spiritual pursuits. The translation of Chi Nei Tsang is "internal organs chi transformation." CNT uses gentle massage, acupressure, and sound healing techniques to support organ function, free stagnation, support circulation, and mobilize the fascial connections between organs. CNT supports the physical, emotional, and energetic bodies through gentle manipulations which focus primarily around the abdomen, pelvis, and thorax.
Our organs are responsible for digestion and assimilation of not only food, toxins, and hormones, but also emotions and experiences. Chi Nei Tsang is a holistic treatment which supports both systemic organ health through direct manipulation of the organs and emotional wellbeing through clearing blockages in the movement of our Chi.
What to expect during your CNT session:
CNT begins with a conversation about your health history and the physical and emotional health issues you want to address. It is best to wear comfortable clothing to your session that can be easily adjusted to reveal your abdominal area, clothing you would wear to a yoga or exercise class is an appropriate option. CNT is performed both directly on the skin of the abdomen and over a thin shirt or sheet, depending on the technique being used. CNT techniques are slow, gentle, and performed with clear communication about what you are feeling physically and emotionally. You may feel deeply relaxed during the treatment and may even fall asleep.
Schedule your Chi Nei Tsang treatment now!